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Archer fired up by friendly bowling rivalry with England team-mate Wood

Archer fired up by friendly bowling rivalry with England team-mate Wood
© Reuters
One of Wood's deliveries was clocked at 95.6mph.

Jofra Archer is loving his pace race with England team-mate Mark Wood after the pair spurred each other on to break the 95mph barrier in Cardiff.

Both seamers bowled lightning-quick spells with the wind at their backs against Bangladesh on Saturday, leaving Tigers all-rounder Shakib-al-Hasan to declare them the fastest bowlers at the tournament.

That is likely to pique the interest of their rivals on the circuit – not least New Zealand's Lockie Ferguson and Australian pair Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins – but for now it is friendly internal competition that is driving them on.

Jofra Archer lit up England's win over Bangladesh with his fiery bowling.
Jofra Archer lit up England's win over Bangladesh with his fiery bowling (David Davies/PA)

"I'm a little bit quicker than him," was Archer's frank assessment when invited to compare himself to Wood.

Cricket analysts Cricviz offered a more nuanced take, crediting Archer with a higher average speed but Wood with the fastest single delivery of the competition, clocking in at a searing 95.6mph.

The latter piece of information left Archer incredulous.

"Huh? No he didn't!" he said of being pipped by the Durham man.

"Only Woody's speed came up (on the big screen). None of mine did, actually. It was a bit biased really!

"But it's good competition to have someone at the other end. It pushes you to do a bit better. Any little thing that can make you better makes the team better, so keep it up.

Mark Wood pipped Archer to the fastest ball of the day in Cardiff.
Mark Wood pipped Archer to the fastest ball of the day in Cardiff (Nigel French/PA)

"It's nice to see but I'm much more concerned about bowling well. If I bowl at just 90mph and I'm bowling well, I'd be much more happier than bowling fast and going for six or seven an over."

Both Archer and Wood were clearly relishing their ability to make Bangladesh's batsmen hop in the crease, each claiming wickets with bodyline bouncers, while opener Tamim Iqbal wore a couple of blows before departing.

Given their firepower England would love to see another lively track in Southampton when they continue their campaign against the West Indies.

"A lot of the balls that were short weren't really supposed to be short but they still carried through. If I had the choice I'd take this (kind of pitch) for the rest of the tournament, if we could get it."

Friday's clash at the Rose Bowl represents a key moment for the Barbados-born seamer, his first international outing against friends and one-time colleagues from the Caribbean.

The West Indies lost Archer to county cricket after overlooking him for the Under-19 World Cup four years ago and will be watching with envy at his recent strides on the big stage.

  1. June 14 v West Indies (Rose Bowl)
  2. June 18 v Afghanistan (Old Trafford)
  3. June 21 v Sri Lanka (Headingley)

"It's just same as the last game, just another game of cricket," said Archer.

"I know them pretty good. I played with a few of the guys at under-19, so it will be good to actually play against them this time."

Archer's relaxed demeanour after taking three for 29 at Sophia Gardens was in contrast to his previous outing, when he was fined for his tetchy reaction to an umpire's wide call and went wicketless in defeat to Pakistan.

"I wasn't cross, I was a bit emotional," he said of the incident. "Every game I play I'm very emotional. I take my cricket very seriously."


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Jonny Bairstow pictured in action at the Cricket World Cup on June 9, 2019
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